Predicting the probability of slip in gait

Methodology and distribution study
The likelihood of a slip is related to the available and required friction for a certain activity, here gait. Classical slip and fall analysis presumed that a walking surface was safe if the difference between the mean available and required friction coefficients exceeded a certain threshold. Previous research was dedicated to reformulating the classical slip and fall theory to include the stochastic variation of the available and required friction when predicting the probability of slip in gait. However, when predicting the probability of a slip, previous researchers have either ignored the variation in the required friction or assumed the available and required friction to be normally distributed. Also, there are no published results that actually give the probability of slip for various combinations of required and available frictions. This study proposes a modification to the equation for predicting the probability of slip, reducing the previous equation from a double-integral to a more convenient single-integral form. Also, a simple numerical integration technique is provided to predict the probability of slip in gait: the trapezoidal method. The effect of the random variable distributions on the probability of slip is also studied. It is shown that both the required and available friction distributions cannot automatically be assumed as being normally distributed. The proposed methods allow for any combination of distributions for the available and required friction, and numerical results are compared to analytical solutions for an error analysis. The trapezoidal method is shown to be highly accurate and efficient. The probability of slip is also shown to be sensitive to the input distributions of the required and available friction. Lastly, a critical value for the probability of slip is proposed based on the number of steps taken by an average person in a single day.

Source: Gragg J, Yang J. Comput. Methods Biomech. Biomed. Eng. 2015, p. 1-8.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10255842.2014.994117

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